Early morning preparations for the Hyojeong Cheongpyeong Special Event 2018 American Tour began Wednesday July 25 with staff from Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center in South Korea and headquarters staff from Family Federation for a Heavenly USA and Northeast Subregion members working together with many volunteers to set the tent, stage, and registration for the weekend festivities.
“Everything went smoothly,” said Demian Dunkley, Family Federation USA Northeast Subregional Director. “Preparations on the first day went until 2:30 a.m. and concluded with a heartfelt closing prayer.”
“Thank you Dr. Ki Hoon Kim for your support,” continued Demian. “Our team and many volunteers did an amazing job supporting various aspects of the program. I am very grateful to them all. This event embodied True Mother’s statement made after True Father ascended into the spirit world on how she wanted to go back to the spirit of the early church. I feel that through the experience this weekend with all our families together at Belvedere we could feel that early spirit of the church, and people testified to that. There was a feeling of becoming one!”
Rev. Jin Hwa Chung, Rev. In Pyo Moon and Brother Ryuichi Kishimoto of the Cheongpyeong staff were so patient and accommodating with the prep team. They checked and guided everyone very calmly to successfully accomplish the entire program with a heavenly atmosphere. The families who gathered expressed much gratitude and respect for them and a desire to encourage more participation in the grace of Cheongpyeong in the future. Rev. Richard Buessing, President of Family Federation for a Heavenly USA, delivered wonderful messages and conveyed the heart of True Parents so beautifully.
It has been so long since the last time America held a Cheongpyeong event and there were many aspects that had to be learned or re-learned, such as filling out Ancestor Liberation and Blessing Forms and understanding the importance of participating in the chanyang session. With only two weeks to go, Demian lead the charge to call all of the families. Each local pastor put together a calling team and called all of the families in their communities that they could. To further inspire people, a prayer call was hosted each night on the last week of the event.
The event was blessed to have Yasuharu To, a college-aged young Unificationist who attended several workshops in Cheongpyeong. He was able to recruit and lead a full chanyang (devotional singing session) team—which included 15 vocalists, drummers, card holders, and pianists—of fellow young Unificationist volunteers in just two weeks! Most of these volunteers had no prior experience.
Over 1600 people attended the event at the beautiful grounds of the Belvedere Estate on July 28 and 29. The weather was wonderful even though terrible thunderstorms had been forecast. With space for families to gather, children to play, and the whole Northeast community to come together as one family, the spirit of the early church filled up the weekend. Many people shared how they felt Belvedere had turned into Cheongpyeong.
Beryl Green of New York City said of the energy she experienced that weekend, “This is the church I joined!” Archbishop Dr. Sulanch Lewis-Rose, National Co-President of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) said, “This is wonderful. I feel so comfortable here.”
Dr. Taj Hamad, Director of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Office of United Nations Relations and the Chairman of WANGO (World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations), brought a new Unification movement member who used to be a Jehovah Witness who converted to Mormonism before meeting Dr. Hamad. He shared, “This is the highest spirit group of people I have ever met.”
Everyone shared how grateful they are to True Mother for allowing this special grace by sending the team from Cheongpyeong to help us liberate and bless our ancestors.
Reflections from Day 1
“I was moved to be able to mobilize and encourage Unificationists to come and also to reach out to others and invite them by setting up calling teams to reach out to every person on our membership list. We felt moved into action and into living for the sake of others. During the chanyang session, I could feel the struggles of our older Unificationists. I could feel such a complicated spirit world around them, but when I looked at the faces of the young second generation Unificationists on the chanyang team, I could feel their determination to break through. I could feel their pure and earnest hearts longing to crack through the cement of evil history for the sake of all Unificationists worldwide. Through them I could feel the precious fruit of True Parents’ work like an extension of True Parents’ love. I cried a lot when my family was liberating our ancestors. I could feel my ancestors strongly and I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to True Parents. I felt totally rejuvenated. I am so grateful to have participated in this incredible experience with everyone this weekend! I am sure the Cheongpyeong Tour will sweep heavenly fortune right across America. Thank you so much True Parents!” —Demian Dunkley, Northeast Subregion Director
“Today I have felt one heart between the Korean team from Cheongpyeong and our American team from headquarters and from the Northeast Subregion. The speeches today were heartfelt and the education that we received was precise and deep. Overall the spirit was high. I felt like electricity was jumping from my fingers during the chanyang sessions. It was a beautiful event.” —Chris Hempowicz
“I can’t thank True Mother enough for sending the Cheongpyeong Team to America. Right before the chanyang session, I was asked by Rev. Buessing to help the Cheongpyeong Staff. During the chanyang session, I was able to understand God’s heart deeply. When I prayed for one individual, I felt the heart of True Mother wanting to heal and liberate everyone. When we were preparing for the program, we experienced amazing miracles. A few days ago I heard one Christian minister had registered for the liberation ceremony. Since that minister never attended any Divine Principle workshop, I was a bit worried about how she would understand Cheongpyeong. So I invited her to church and met with her. When she came to meet with me I wasn’t fully prepared to teach her but when I started talking to her, I could convey the meaning and importance of Cheongpyeong very well. Today, during the chanyang session, I suddenly felt the spirit of Jesus and Jesus told me that it was he who had talked to the minister through me. A couple of hours later one person came to me and told me that Jesus was with me. Jesus is helping us to guide Christian minister. —Manoj Jacob, Pastor of District-3 (New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania)
Read more reflections and testimonies below to grasp the heart and experience of the weekend from those who experienced it.
Reflections from Day 2
“My heart was filled with emotion during the closing song following the first chanyang session. Immediately the spirit hit me with the awareness of sacrifice and the lonely path True Father went through in order to fulfill the Will of God. I was brought to tears by the sacrifice made by our True Parents. I felt grateful as well as repentful. I believe God made this feeling of repentance available to me so I might heal from my complaints and cut myself off from that negative energy and have more power. I have hope God has given me a gift to be more light in my spirit.” —Pastor Darryl Franklin, Elizabeth Family Church
“Our family was able to stay at the Clifton Church Personage after the event. We were all so exhausted from a long day. My wife went to bed at 12:30AM. In the middle of the night she was woken up by the sound of drums and other instruments. She tried to find out where the noise was coming from and thought it must be from the church center next door. But at 2AM? Music played for a while. Then the sound of the drums and the other Brass Instruments suddenly stopped. She realized that the sound of band happened inside of her head and it was the resounding joy of our ancestors rejoicing and playing music and she could see many faces of our ancestors in the back of her eyes. Today, my wife has been feeling deep gratitude. She says that feeling is coming from our ancestors.” —Shota Iwasaki
“I’m so grateful to be a part of this tour. I felt God’s love and True Parents’ love for the families in American. After I registered for the event, I was shocked to find I has so many ancestors I had not fully liberated. I had a long way to go, but now I had a hope to keep on going. This time I decided to liberate Scott Joplin and his wife. Since joining the Sunday Service worship band, I learned jazz music and became interested in jazz and ragtime. I started practicing Scott Joplin’s songs (it’s hard). I learned his father was an ex-slave and he had a really hard life because he was black. But he kept making/playing beautiful music until he died. Since I came to this country I was helped by black people both physically and spiritually so many times. I thought it’s now my time to offer a small condition to help them. I was so glad that I could attend this event with my family. I witnessed a spirit of unity and harmony here, and I came to understand everything is possible once we start our baby steps.” —Akemi Hirose, Clifton Family Church
“Thank you for a tremendous liberation festival. Everything was imbued with great reverence, dignity, and beauty. The chanyang session was intensely purifying and invigorating. Rev. Heumer’s heartfelt prayer moved us greatly as he pledged to hang on to America as Jacob held onto the angel, until this nation truly blesses our True Parents. And the Hyojeong ceremony cleansed us and assured the success of our great mission! Aju!” —Bill and Taeko Lay
“Thank you True Parents for allowing the Cheongpyeong team to come across the world. My reflections from yesterday is that I was so grateful for the explanations about the works of Cheongpyeong providence. It was easier to grasp for me than the times I was in Cheongpyeong. I also understood better the grace for the offering of heavenly fortune. And the atmosphere created through the ceremony cracked my heart to open and pushed out any hesitation I may have had.” —Irmgard Baynes, NJ
“During the liberation ceremony, when I was praying for my ancestors, I cried and I shared my complaints with them. I called my father who is in spirit world and told him that this is too much responsibility for me and I can’t do it alone. He appeared in front me in spirit and he smiled and said, “It will be alright.” I asked him, “When and how will it be alright?” He replied, “Don’t worry,” and then he disappeared.” —Juliana Montalvo
“Thank you for having the ancestor liberation and blessing event here at Belvedere! Yesterday when we started singing holy songs, I cried from my heart. I felt Heavenly Parent and True Parents and all my ancestors were so happy.”—Machiko Edwards, NJ
“It was lovely to see heavenly brothers and sisters sitting beneath the evergreen trees at lunch and to watch the interactions among young Unificationists at play. The scene is so different from what we commonly see at any neighborhood park. Now, soon, we will return to our neighborhoods in America with all the usual problems of the fallen society. I am counting on the angels and good ancestors to assist us as we reach out to those who do not yet know True Parents. Everyday at morning Hoon Dok Hwe I am humbled by the amazing character and life of our True Parents and again today as we watched videos of True Father’s devotion and vision for Cheongpyeong. The best testimony was from Demian Dunkley. I think I heard a part of the testimony before, but this time it was more complete. During the final chanyang session, the team leader [Ryuichi Kishimoto] who shouted the loudest, helped to pierce the spiritual barrier between my heart and True Parents’ heart. His powerful emotional shouts enabled my tears of repentance and gratitude to flow and enabled me to repent for not investing more effort in reaching out to neighbors in my community.” —Christine Libon
“It’s so great calling ‘Father!’ and ‘Mother!’ when praying that I felt the perfect love of God and shed tears feeling as if I was totally embraced in Heavenly Parent’s love.”—Jim Kushi
“What I love the most was the ancestor liberation ceremony on day two. During the prayer after the chanyang session, somehow I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like my ancestors were also crying a lot. I haven’t cried like this in a while. Like we were here together. It was such a nice experience to have. I hope that Cheongpyeong offers more tours in America so I can catch up with my ancestor liberation and blessing work.” —Rie Suzuki
“I have no words but those of gratitude. I’m grateful to God and True Parents who are ready to grant our wishes and uplift our hope. The only limits are those we set on ourselves. I feel free and ready to dream big—I promise to share this with others.” —Susan Bouachri
“I have experienced life at Cheongpyeong before, but I have never liberated any of my ancestors nor offered wish papers for the inheritance of heavenly fortune. This time, I liberated the first seven generations on my father’s side and offered one golden wish paper for the sake of improving my health! When the event started on Saturday, I began to feel my stomach expand. I was able to breathe better while singing songs of praise. However, before and after the event on Saturday, I felt a lot of physical pain and stomach pain. I definitely felt like this was a spiritual battle that was happening. I had a dream on Saturday night where my family and relatives were in the Dominican Republic and were sharing and repenting for their sins. In the dream, I was called to destroy all of the people who were threatening and accusing my family for their wrong doings. In a way, this dream was revealing the ancestors that I was liberating from my father’s side of the family. Finally, during Sunday’s chanyang session, I saw a picture of my grandfather on my father’s side of the family. He was murdered when my father was 17-years-old in the Dominican Republic. I offered prayers of repentance and gratitude to Heavenly Parent and True Parents for this situation. Thank you so much for allowing me to liberate my first few ancestors! I pray that my mental, spiritual and physical health can be back to normal so that I can be an active participant in the providence of America! Aju!” —Jorge Cuello Espinosa, Bronx Family Church
“This was a nice experience. When I prayed in the prayer room, I felt the same feelings I receive when praying in the great prayer hall at Cheongpyeong. My prayer naturally became deep as if there was no gap communicating with God. During the ancestor liberation, I could feel my ancestor’s sorrow when I repented sincerely for them. Then my tears couldn’t help but come out. I believe my ancestors were beside me listening to my prayer, and paid their gratitude toward me. I’m thankful to the Cheongpyeong team.” —Jing-An Lin
“I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the Hyojeong Cheongpyeong workshop in New York. During the chanyang session, I had the impression that resentful spirits were embedded in my left shoulder so I was focusing my efforts there. I felt that these spirits had been hurt by my ancestors and that they had buried themselves in my shoulder while holding onto their pain. I saw myself repenting to them on my knees. Begging them to forgive us (my ancestors and me) for the wrongs that we committed. I asked them to please let go of their pain and go to the workshop [in spirit world] to be embraced by Heavenly Parent and True Parents. Afterward, I told Heavenly Parent that I had been expecting a “bigger” spiritual experience. Heavenly Parent asked me if I felt clean? I replied that I do. I felt the implication that this was a huge spiritual experience. Heavenly Parent, True Parents and the workshop staff please accept my insufficient gratitude. I send this testimony with all my love.”—John King, Nova Scotia, Canada
“I don’t know whether Belvedere can possibly compete with Cheongpyeong, but it is certainly wonderfully beautiful here and a perfect setting for this Hyojeong Cheongpyeong workshop. During chanyang, I became acutely aware how so many spirits are imprisoned within me, unhappy, unfulfilled, unfree, yearning for something but not knowing what it is. They are simply miserable and apparently only partially conscious of their dilemma. I felt overflowing compassion for them, yearning for them to be free. I knew what they didn’t know—that they would be so much happier if they were released from my body. In tears I applied myself seriously to releasing them. I knew this was my only opportunity to free them and myself, but I sensed deeply that this moment would be wonderfully beneficial for both these trapped spirits and myself. After their release, at least that of some of them, I felt intense gratitude to Heavenly Parent, True Parents, Dae Mo Nim , Heung Jin Moon and even to those spirits who dared to leap out of my body and into a new unknown world. Thank you, True Mother, for expanding this wonderful providence and making it available to us here in America. It is simply another one of the many ways that you embrace us with so much heavenly love.” —Michael Kiely
“I was impressed that the ceremony was more real to me than in past times. I am also impressed by the new leadership, especially with Demian Dunkley. His level of lighthearted expressions from the podium and still total sincerity is refreshing. I sincerely felt my ancestors today almost to the point of seeing faces unfamiliar to me. I brought myself here yesterday and today out of the enthusiasm from my wife thinking the ceremony surely wouldn’t hurt me. In my simple Christian upbringing with no attention to ancestral recognition, I was willing and open to attend this workshop. I have been pleased and refreshed, and am grateful to those who have worked hard to produce it. Thank you for your attention to us.” —Stephen Kearney
“Preparation for the Cheongpyeong workshop at Belvedere took a lot out of me physically and spiritually. Spiritual power was necessary to complete the many details. Finally, I could be at Belvedere with my son on Saturday morning. I could see the evil spirits going out of my body through the chanyang session (they were orange colored). On Sunday morning, during the ancestor liberation ceremony, evil spirits were coming out of my body (they were black and white colored). My son’s heart and motivation became so beautiful and high-spirited and we all look younger and brighter and more beautiful. Thank you to Heavenly Parent and True Parents. I felt warm fuzzy feelings while praying at the Holy Rock at Belvedere. It felt like the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.” —Yoko Lux
“I live in Canada. When I got the email on Friday about the Cheongpyeong event being held at Belvedere in New York, I consulted with my wife and departed at 9:00 p.m. for New York. On the way, we slept for five hours in the car and finally arrived at Belvedere. It’s been eleven years since we’ve attended this type of event. I realized while sitting outdoors on lawn chairs, in the grass under the tent in the beautiful Belvedere surroundings, that this was indeed a pure privilege to occur just one day before my 63rd birthday. I was so intoxicated and overwhelmed by the beautiful lectures and the liberation ceremony. During the second day, I shed a lot of tears after a long while. The presence of my ancestors, True Parents and Heavenly Parent was so real in my feeling and heart. During one prayer, I felt a beautiful vibration come over me. Usually when I attend the sessions in Korea, after a few minutes I have to fight my pain from sitting on the floor and can’t grasp many points in the lectures from the distraction of it. Having chairs and sitting outdoors rather than in a building was a great blessing. Thank you True Mother for sending the team to America. I must confess this was the most spiritually enriching experience and it gave us the chance to feel the new age and feel the presence of our Heavenly Parent within ourselves. What a profound experience.”—R. Thillairajan (Thillai), Former National Leader Sri Lanka, Former Toronto Church Pastor
“To all the wonderful people who made this weekend in Belvedere happen — I live in Rhode Island and my daughter and I participated in the ancestor liberation this past weekend. First of all, thank you to all of you. My goal for coming was to make some of my ancestors dance with joy. I looked out in my backyard this morning hanging out my laundry and noticed how much the weeds grew around my tomato plants during the two days I was gone, and it is hard to see my wonderful red tomatoes. And that made me think about the ancestor liberation and how each day is a growing process and we have to keep trying to prevent the weeds or fallen nature from growing and cherish all the blessings True Parents have given us. It is so easy to have give-and-take with doubt or thoughts that only prevent me from growing. I was moved to see lots of elderly Unificationists, some of whom had a hard time moving around and finding any comfortable state of being in the heat, but still participating. I was humbled by their faith and perseverance. I am here because of their sacrifices. The biggest thank you goes to True Mother.” —Caroline Hanssen
“During chanyang I felt a release, I felt happier and the atmosphere was very uplifting and I tried to focus my heart and mind and connect with God at True Parents.” —Nora Waldman, NJ
“I had a very good experience during chanyang. I felt the presence of True Parents and of my father in spirit world. I also felt True Father’s presence during chanyang. I could feel the angels were with me. I have so much pain in my legs and knees I cannot walk but now I feel strong and I can walk now! Thank you very much True Parents! Thank you very much Heavenly Parent!” —Bibiana Bamfo, Boston, MA
“This is my first experience doing chanyang. I feel much better right now. I’m looking forward to another one. It was a really touching moment. I really felt like my ancestors were waiting for this moment. I’m really really grateful to True Parents because I know they sacrificed a lot for us to have this grace. It’s just a moment of gratitude and I’m so glad to have this opportunity and be able to stand on the foundation True Parents built for us.” —Ruud and Andrea Themen, NJ
“I’m twelve-years-old. This is my first time doing the chanyang session. I repented a lot for my ancestors and I cried a lot because I had never done it before and it was really emotional for me. I had a good experience.” —Chloe Jean, MA
“I haven’t done chanyang since I was really young, but now I’m thinking about my actual ancestors—it’s kind of beautiful that we are thinking about our ancestors because a lot of people are working on their own salvation—I thought about that throughout the day. It was just a new experience, new thought.” —Marina Garwood, Monroe, NY
“During the chanyang session today, especially at the beginning, I was really struggling to be here and was thinking, “What is really the purpose of this?” And I realize maybe I didn’t really prepare my heart enough to really plug in well. But as I was thinking about that, I returned to what I’ve been thinking about a lot which is the heart of God and God’s suffering and even connecting all this together. That opened up a channel that’s been slowly and gradually building up in my life lately. But connecting to how this fits into God’s suffering and what God’s heart is when God sees people coming together like this and participating in an act of devotion like this. And really it must be one of God’s truths at some level that we have the compassion to come together and go beyond what we find difficult or bothersome in order to do something for the sake of somebody else, especially our ancestors. We talked a bit about resentful spirits stuffing up our bodies and choking up our spirits and I felt even they were suffering! I want to be able to liberate them as well as my ancestors. It’s not just about me at the end of the day and me and my ancestors being free; they’re people too and they are hurt and I just hope that they find peace. It sounds profound but in truth, the realization was a fleeting moment and then it was gone. I’m going to try to reconnect with that spirit over the course of this weekend.”—Mi Young Eaton, Livingston, NY
“It really was an experience. I felt something intense inside me. It made me cry. This was my first time doing chanyang.” —Evonne Mercado, Bronx, NY
“Today was very uplifting. I was thinking a lot about True Father, True Mother and I felt my physical brother who recently passed away. All the memories of my years working on the East Garden staff came back. I worked here about 35 years with people like Mike McDevitt as part of the maintenance team. I’m going to find out if they are going to have a similar event in England, my hometown.” —Ian Alexander, Westchester, NY
“I really felt [during chanyang] like the bad spirits had been smacked out of me. I feel really cleansed and lighter now. And I really felt the rays and beams from heaven hit me. I love you True Mother. I love you so much and I’ll continue your providence and make you happy.” —Timothy Dunkley, Nutley, NJ
“For me, chanyang was really touching because I was sitting in between my parents and they were really moved towards the end. At first I didn’t feel it, but when I saw my parents crying and saw my dad receive chanyang (devotional cleansing through firm patting) from someone else I was really touched. I think as you grow older, chanyang becomes more of an experience and you are more capable of being moved by it.” —Linako Shimizu, Philadelphia
“We came here specifically for the chanyang session because we are expecting our first child and we thought it would be a wonderful experience for our coming daughter. It was very emotional and spiritual. The session really got us going near the end. We would love to do this all the time—be able to be at Cheongpyeong when we want to be—but to prepare, we thought this was a good condition at such short notice. We had planned to go to Cheongpyeong for our first child, but life happened and now we can’t. So we are so grateful that Cheongpyeong came to us. We actually decided last night to drive here. We drove four hours just for this. We know the importance of Cheongpyeong and chanyang sessions, ancestor liberation and the Marriage Blessing. We’re grateful to [Family Federation] headquarters and the Cheongpyeong staff for giving those of us who are starting families, who are at different stages in life, that we can participate and inherit what True Parents are giving us. Thank you True Mother for the love you are giving to America, sending the Cheongpyeong team to us so we can inherit the blessings of the providence and we hope that we can support you and we love you very much.” —Spase and Kathy Kate, Boston, MA
“Today we had lectures and a chanyang session and some of it was tiring for me, but I learned little things here and there about Cheongpyeong that I didn’t know which I thought was great and showed the sincere heart of their efforts. The thing I got out of Rev. Chung’s lectures is that I don’t believe in everything they are saying becauseIi haven’t experienced it myself yet. But it seems that Cheongpyeong was created for the purpose of making the world a better place and I hope that it can do that for the world. I don’t think Cheongpyeong needs to be the center of the world, but I think if it’s an inspiration to people to love better then it’s a good thing.” —Kuna Hamad, Irvington, NY
“In the last two days during the chanyang session I felt it really helped me afterwards. I felt calm and liberated. It was a very rewarding experience. Focus on chanyang and focus on yourself and use this as an experience to take away an evil experience and be a better person.” —Pamilta Tamelessio, Belleville, NJ
“The most wonderful thing is to be here again at Belvedere and see so many brothers and sisters and feeling the hope True Parents have for us to build the kingdom of heaven here in this country and in the world.” —Robin Sullivan, Bridgeport, CT
“We just finished the chanyang session and honestly I was really negative just before it—perhaps it’s my western way of thinking. I’ve spent a lot of time at Cheongpyeong but that was in the past, then today, after I started the session, I was reminded that this is actually good for me, and doing the chanyang session helped me to remember why I was doing this and eventually I got really into it and I was really grateful for today.” —Bob Manseur, New Jersey
(Provided by Family Federation for a Heavenly USA)
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